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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Numbers Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel's Unbelief (c 1-27)
Theme: Preparing for the Journey (c 1-10)
Message: The First Numbering of a Nation (v 1-54)

Numbers 1 Commentary

(1:1) The Lord Orders a Census - As the book of Numbers opens, the Israelites had been camped near Mount Sinai for more than a year. There they had received all the laws and regulations recorded in the book of Leviticus. They had been transformed into a new nation and equipped for the task God had for them. At this time, they were ready to move out and receive their land. In preparation, Moses and Aaron were told to number all the men who were able to serve in the army. This book is named for this census, or numbering, of the people.Here "tabernacle of the congregation" or ``tent of meeting" refers to the central structure of the tabernacle complex. This tent contained the sanctuary (or holy place) in one part and the most
holy place with the ark in another part. These two sections were separated by a curtain. God revealed himself to Moses in the most holy place. Exodus 33-7 mentions a "Tabernacle of the
congregation" where Moses met with God before the actual tabernacle was constructed. Many believe it served the same function as the one described here.

(1:2-15) A Large Task of the Census - Taking a census was long and tedious, but it was an important task. The fighting men had to be counted to determine Israel's military strength before entering the Promised Land. In addition, the tribes had to be organized to determine the amount of land each would need. This would also provide a genealogical record for the young nation. Without such a census, the task of conquering and organizing the Promised Land would have been more difficult. Whenever we are at a crossroads, it is important to take inventory of our resources. We will serve more effectively if, before plunging in, we set aside time to take a "census" of all we have possessions, relationships, spiritual condition, time, and goals.

(1:20-48) A Blessed People - If there were 603,550 men, not counting the Levites, women, or children, the total population must have numbered more than two million Israelites. How could such a large population have grown from Jacob's family of 70 who moved down to Egypt? The book of Exodus tells us that the Israelites who descended from Jacob's family "increased abundantly" (Exodus 1:7). Because they remained in Egypt for more than 400 years, they had plenty of time to grow into a large group of people. After leaving Egypt, they were able to survive in the wilderness because God miraculously provided the food and water they needed. The leaders of Moab were terrified because of the large number of Israelites (Numbers 22:3).

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Number Your Gifts

 

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Numbers with Chapter 1 and in today's text we see the word Numbers comes from the word Census and in this chapter the Lord orders a Census or Numbering of the children of Israel for them to evaluate their resources as they attempt to enter into the promise land. In making application, we as Christian are asked to evaluate our resources and spiritual gifts as we follow the Lord fighting the enemy. We are to gain the enemies ground and cast down strongholds and we do this working through the Holy Spirit exercising our gifts to maximize our efforts. We start by numbering these gifts which God has equipped us, preachers-preach, teachers-teach, exhorters-exhort, givers-give, etc. The first step to victory is to Number our resources. How about you? Have you Numbered and Defined you Spiritual Gifts? Let us learn from today's text and Number our gifts of the Lord. 

 

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Numbers 1

Numbers 1

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

 2Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;

 3From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

 4And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.

 5And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.

 6Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

 7Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

 8Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar.

 9Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon.

 10Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

 11Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni.

 12Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

 13Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran.

 14Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

 15Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan.

 16These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.

 17And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:

 18And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.

 19As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.

 20And the children of Reuben, Israel's eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 21Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.

 22Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 23Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.

 24Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 25Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty.

 26Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 27Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.

 28Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 29Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.

 30Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 31Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.

 32Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 33Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred.

 34Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 35Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.

 36Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 37Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.

 38Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 39Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Dan, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.

 40Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 41Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.

 42Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;

 43Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.

 44These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.

 45So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;

 46Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.

 47But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.

 48For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

 49Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:

 50But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.

 51And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

 52And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts.

 53But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.

 54And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they